Hotels and homestays hopeful but cautious

A G Hotel employee sanitising the reception desk. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

Hotels and homestays in Penang are hoping their bookings will increase when dining-in and usage of facilities are allowed.

Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa communications director Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman said the resort had been getting some enquiries and bookings but people were still hesitant to go to hotels due to the current high number of Covid-19 cases.

“We will allow dining-in only when we are sure our guests are really comfortable with it. We have to look at the bigger picture.”

Suleiman said there were some minute details that the hotel needed to look into, adding that discussions were ongoing on how best to handle dine-in services and the reopening of facilities.

“Our facilities like swimming pools and spas are off-limits for now and only non-contact sports such as tennis are allowed.

“There will probably be more bookings when we open our restaurants for dining-in and if swimming and usage of other facilities are allowed.

“For now, we will maintain in-room dining and guests can also order meals from the hawker takeaway corner which is open from 11am to 6pm daily.”

Meanwhile, G Hotel communications director Christina Tan said the hotel was waiting for the number of Covid-19 cases to go down before allowing dining-in.

“We are surrounded by condominiums and a mall and on normal days, many senior citizens will walk in for a buffet meal.

“With such high-risk guests, we realise our staff must be vaccinated before serving them.

“It will probably take another week before we open for dining-in and we hope our bookings will increase then,” she said.

Tan said 50% of the hotel staff had received at least one dose.

“We are pushing the others to get their vaccination done.”

Abdul Salim Mydin Pitchai, the owner of Sri Mutiara Homestay in Batu Ferringhi, said enquiries were trickling in but there were no bookings yet.

“It is still too early to say anything as people shun the Batu Ferringhi stretch and would rather stay indoors.

“We will just have to wait for the situation to improve.”

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong said those who were fully vaccinated could travel across districts only to dine-in or stay at hotels.

“The inter-district travel relaxation is not for people to visit places of attraction or have picnics on the beach.

“Hotel guests must also stay in the compound and not move out in groups,” added ACP Soffian.

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